freshidea - Fotolia
Channel industry player CompTIA has given members an update at a central London conference with the focus remaining on skills and staffing issues.
All year the organisation has been encouraging the channel to get up to speed on apprenticeships and is also on a long term campaign to get more girls to choose careers in IT.
The latest area where it is also going to add some focus is in helping resellers gain the technical skills need to sell into regulated sectors, including finance, government and the legal profession.
For many resellers the need to have a firm grip on regulations has become a barrier to entry and CompTIA has responded to the calls of its membership to provide more support in this area.
“Breaking into Regulated Industries is one of the key business growth areas for many businesses, but it can be difficult for SMEs and MSPs to navigate due to the sheer number of regulations and compliance points they have to adhere to,” said Estelle Johannes, director, member communities UK at CompTIA.
“In launching this initiative, we have rapidly responded to our members’ feedback and will deliver resources and meeting that can make a huge impact for businesses and empower them to enter entirely new markets," she added.
The organisation will provide a forum for members to share best practice and access to resources that will cut down on the research partners would have to undertake themselves. There will also be research into specific sectors, starting with the financial and legal industries, to identify the key trends and regulations.
Todd Thibodeaux, CEO of CompTIA, said that he had noted a real optimism among the UK channel about the prospects for growth and encouraged more to get up to speed on cyber security, because that was often a key element of the customer's requirements.
"The UK and US have been very cyber aware for a number of years," he added that it would be rolling out a cyber secure programme in the UK in 2016.
Apart from security the other areas of interest to members were around business transformation with the conference covering issues like IoT and the cloud.
"This idea about transformation being a one stop thing is wrong it is a continuation. If ten is the best and one is the worst then you start by going from 1 to 2 first and then move up to three. You don't go from 1 to 7 in one step because too many people are afraid. You need to show you can do it and then do it ion your own channel business," he said.
Thibodeaux added that CompTIA was growing its presence in the UK and had doubled its membership in the last three years and was getting the attention of more resellers and distributors.
"We have doubled our membership in the last three years. Some of those have been born-in-the-cloud companies," he added "Visibility and brand awareness are there so people are starting to get to know who we are."
As well as trying to highlight the key needs of the channel the organisation also provides certifications and on that front it is updating its flagship A+ next year. A lot of growth is coming from those people that want to take the Security+ certification.